Category: Self-Advocacy

Episode 89 | Motivation

Episode 89 | Motivation

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, we are joined again by Becky Gardner, Executive Function Coach at: A Life of My Own to discuss motivation.  Finding and maintaining motivation is a tricky task in a nuerotypical brain–so for our loved ones on the autism spectrum we have to really dial in to determine which means of motivation will be successful.  It is a process and can be discouraging, however the benefits to finding a sustainable intrinsic motivation can be life changing.

References:

Self-Determination Theory of Motivation: Why Intrinsic Motivation Matters

Courtney E. Ackerman, MA., 2-15-2021 (Synopsis of Ryan and Deci’s work on Self-Determination Theory and Intrinsic Motivation)

https://positivepsychology.com/self-determination-theory/#:~:text=It%20posits%20that%20there%20are,in%20the%201970s%20and%201980s.

 

Drive. By Daniel Pink (book)

Key Concepts-

– Autonomy: “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” Control is by others, from outside (extrinsic motivators) – in some situations this leads to compliance but does not lead to desire. Autonomy is from within (intrinsic) – by definition it leads to a true desire to engage with the activity.

– Mastery: “One source of frustration … is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom. But when the match is just right, the results can be glorious.”

– Purpose: “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self‐determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

 

TED Talk: “The Puzzle of Motivation” By Dan Pink

Although used in a different context, the science is valid and the research applies.

https://youtu.be/rrkrvAUbU9Y

 

Executive Functioning  –

Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success? (Book) by Chuck Martin , Peg Dawson, Richard Guare

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Book) by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

 

Collaborative Problem Solving –

> Rethinking Challenging Kids: Where There’s a Skill There’s a Way, Stuart Ablon https://youtu.be/wgNpGThLl2U

Changeable: How Collaborative Problem Solving Changes Lives at Home, at School, and at Work (Book) by J. Stuart Ablon

Episode 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

Episode 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we discuss thing’s we wish EVERYONE knew about autism. In our day-to-day as autism parents we are frequently coming in contact with people that just don’t understand our children. Often times a stranger will witness our child’s moment of anxiety-driven meltdown and make the assumption that the child is simply choosing to misbehave. On the flip side, a person may meet a child with high functioning autism and ask “What is his/her special talent?”  No matter how well intentioned there is a true lack of understanding regarding autism that directly impacts societies view on their abilities.  Listen in as we discuss the main issues these moms wish everyone understood about autism.

Reference:

Beyond Behaviors by Monda Delahooke, Phd

Episode 87 | Fidget Spinners-Useful or Distracting?

Episode 87 | Fidget Spinners-Useful or Distracting?

On today’s episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we discuss fidget spinners with a panel of autism moms.  Even though we all agree certain fidgets can be very annoying we see the value in them.  We discuss the different types of fidgets, how they use them effectively, utilizing them in and out of school and more.

Episode 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

Episode 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

We know that on the whole, our children on the spectrum receive many more corrections each day than a nuero-typical child. In a world of “don’t do that” and “it is better if you do it this way” it is hard to achieve a high sense of self esteem and maintain confidence in yourself.  We have discussed building self esteem in passing while recording other episodes but wanted a chance to discuss this topic as a whole.  So, we invited a panel of parents that discuss the challenges their children-on all ends of the spectrum have faced regarding growing and maintaining self esteem.

Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

On today’s episode we talk with executive function coach Becky Garder of “A Life of My Own.” We discuss the common defense mechanism many people (including the autistic population) use to “fit in,” known as masking.  Or the idea that if you change or “mask” your identity in order to fit in with those around you. Masking can make social interactions less painful/tense. Although this method can seem to help in short periods of time, the long term affects are disastrous to self esteem.  Today we discuss with Becky, what masking is, what it looks like, and how to redirect to avoid burnout.

References:

Blog describing Autistic Burnout that was read part of in the podcast:
Autistic Exhaustion”
by Rhi (July, 17, 2019)
All posts found here: https://autistrhi.com/
This article showcases how autism can be seen through another, strengths-based/neurodiversity, lens

Uniquely Human (A Different Way of Seeing Autism) – July 1, 2016

by Barry M. Prizant

https://www.amazon.com/Uniquely-Human-Different-Seeing-Autism/dp/1476776245/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=uniquely+human&qid=1607632922&sr=8-1

And, btw, this book is a great Xmas gift for people!! Just saying…..😏

Episode #64 | Autism & Friendship

Episode #64 | Autism & Friendship

This week we have a great panel of parents discussing the ins and outs of friendship as it relates to their kiddos with autism.  There is a common myth that children with autism generally do not crave the attention of peers and will not seek out friendship.  Although that may be true to some capacity for some of our children, it is most definitely not the case for all children with autism.  Many of our children still enjoy and seek meaningful friendship with their peers, it just may not always look the same as it does with our neurotypical children.

Listen in to hear us discuss the Friendship Algorithm which was brought to us through the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Although this algorithm was written to be comical, it is actually a great tool to approach friendship and learning the boundaries and intent of your actions to make and maintain friends.

Finally we share stories of friendships gone well…and not so well, and how these particular parents handled these situations.

Episode #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

Episode #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

In this podcast, executive function extraordinaire, Becky Gardner, joins us to talk about the challenges that executive function deficits can pose for our children; and I don’t just mean our kids with autism. If you have felt concern about any of your kids’ ability to focus, initiate tasks, plan and prioritize tasks, manage time, define and achieve goals, then you DEFINITELY need to listen to this podcast.  Executive function challenges affects just as many neuro-typical kids as those with special needs.

Becky shares about her professional background as an Occupational Therapist and how this lead her down the road to becoming an executive function coach.

Interested in learning more about Executive Function and how Becky can help your child use their strengths to over come their challenging areas of executive function?

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

A Life of My Own

 

 

Episode #50 | Autism Language Debate

Episode #50 | Autism Language Debate

In this podcast, we discuss the language and symbols most commonly used within our autism community and how it relates to our loved ones touched by autism.  We discuss why parents choose certain language and how it can help and, at times, hinder our ability to effectively communicate information about our loved ones; specifically when engaging in discussions with individuals in our community who may have less knowledge of the disorder.

We discuss:

  • Autistic vs. Person with autism (AKA people first language)
  • Heavily touched vs. low functioning
  • High functioning vs. Aspergers
  • Autistic vs. Neuro-Diverse
  • Touched by autism vs. impacted by autism
  • Disabled vs. Differently-Abled

 

Episode #44 | Protecting Your Child from Leaches and Bad Influences

Episode #44 | Protecting Your Child from Leaches and Bad Influences

In these complicated times, it’s easy to be taken advantage of with out without a disability. Family members join me to share examples of times their loved one has been socially prayed upon by those who lack good intentions. These families share:

  • Successful ways to deal with friends who are taking advantage of their family member
  • Silver lining experiences
  • Lessons learned and steps to take to protect your child